Type of site
|Headquarters||West Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.|
|Owner||JAF Communications Inc.|
|Launched||May 15, 2023|
The Messenger is an American news website founded by Jimmy Finkelstein, the former owner of Washington, D.C.-based news organization The Hill. The publication launched on May 15, 2023, and brought in editors-in-chief from several other news organizations to serve in senior editorial roles. The Messenger's stated business model, which includes plans to hire 550 journalists within its first year of operations and to achieve 100 million unique monthly viewers by the end of 2024, is considered to be aggressive.
Origin and creation
The Messenger was founded by Jimmy Finkelstein, the former owner of The Hill, an American newspaper and website based in Washington, D.C. After selling The Hill to Nexstar Media Group in 2021, Finkelstein began to raise funds for The Messenger, which he founded in West Palm Beach, Florida. The website secured an investment of $50 million from American businessmen Mark Penn, Victor Ganzi, Josh Harris, James Tisch, and Thomas Peterffy and acquired the assets of Grid News prior to its launch on May 15, 2023. Richard Beckman, former president of The Hill and Condé Nast, serves the same role with The Messenger.
At the time of The Messenger's launch, editorial and managerial staff included senior staff from several other news organizations. Former editor-in-chief of People, Dan Wakeford, serves as The Messenger's editor-in-chief, while former Politico politics editor Marty Kady serves as the website's politics editor. The sports section is led by former editorial director of The Athletic Dan Kauffman, while former Gizmodo editor-in-chief David M. Ewalt serves as the website's technology and science editor. The Messenger's health vertical is edited by Amy Eisinger, the former editor-in-chief of Self, and the website's entertainment vertical is led by former Entertainment Weekly editor-in-chief Mary Margaret.
The site's business model is dependent primarily on revenue from advertisers, as the website is free-to-access and is not paywalled, though the site also aims to bring in revenue through the sale of subscription-only newsletters and sponsored events. The website's approach to publication of news content is to publish large quantities of content, having rapidly hired large numbers of journalists at above-market wages and acquiring Grid News in order to facilitate broad coverage of the news.
The company's growth strategy is considered aggressive, with its stated goals being to expand its employment rolls to 750 (including 550 newsroom employees) and to attain profitability by earning $100 million in annual revenue by 2024, seeking to achieve 100 million unique monthly visitors by that time. The Messenger had more than 100,000 unique daily visitors four days after its launch.
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